Designed a new T-style guitar, now I'm going to protect it

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by BeeTL, May 13, 2009.

  1. BeeTL

    BeeTL Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    546
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Location:
    Oldsmar, FL
    Over the last few months I’ve been working on a few different build projects.

    In the midst of that I designed a new headstock and a new body shape.

    I’m at a point where I believe these may have some long term value, so I’ve made a big decision:

    I’m going to protect my designs.

    I’ve been in touch with a patent and trademark Attorney, and I have started the process of applying for patent and trademark protection.

    Over the next few weeks and months I’ll document the process and some of the recent case law that got me interested in pursuing this process.

    In the mean time, here are the designs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. newtwanger

    newtwanger Blackguardian. Ad Free + Supporter

    Posts:
    3,276
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Go for it. What kind of coin do you think this will set you back?
     
  3. slickschoppers

    slickschoppers Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    621
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa
    good idea,,

    that is a good idea,, always a good idea to protect your ideas...

    I'm sure if you don't that the big companies will try to steal your headstock design.......

    not guitar companies mind you,,, companies that want to open LARGE beer bottles....;)
     
  4. slickschoppers

    slickschoppers Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    621
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa
    admit it...

    admit it,, you got the idea for the headstock shape while drinking a few cold ones designing the body

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  5. tonfarbe

    tonfarbe Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    995
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Berlin, Yer-up
    That headstock shape looks very similar to the ones on the Caliber Telecaster copies:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Shepherd

    Shepherd Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,113
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maple Ridge, Canada
    That's the first thing that came to mind when I saw it. Now if you could turn that shape into an actual working opener you might be on to something ;)
     
  7. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,552
    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    At this late stage in the guitar business, I'd wait until you have sold maybe five thousand units before buying intellectual property attorneys their next BMW. Unless, of course these guitars will be made using a different process or material that hasn't been done before.
     
  8. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,524
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Maybe you should do a poll first and see what people think about the shape. To me the body looks awkward, there are no pleasing curves and the flat bottom is too hard.

    BUt hey, that's just me. I think i'd like to know that there was money in it before i shelled out on lawyers.

    Good luck though.
     
  9. muttley

    muttley TDPRI Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    97
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    I would assume that you have researched this but a patent in most countries covers articles that are new and inventive or have industrial or production implications. I fail to see how your designs fall into those. I don't wish to dampen your enthusiasm but it is unlikely that any such claim by you would succeed so be aware before you part with any money..

    The area more appropriate to what you are after is copyright law and even that wont help cover others from stealing your designs should they want.

    On a more constructive note, if you are convinced that there is merit in your designs, consider showing them to people who work in the industry to get some feedback. Those guys know what will sell To be safe you can draft some sort of non disclosure contract that they may or may not be willing to comply with. That way you will get some valuable feedback.

    You may wish to consider registering your logo as a trade mark but even that is only really of value if the image is likely to be widely exposed and of value in the publuic domain. Not meaning to be overly critical, just saying.
     
  10. hwestman

    hwestman Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    732
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Not my cup of tea BUT you should make a metal insert for the headstock to make it a real can opener.... that would actually be pretty cool IMHO...
     
  11. SackvilleDan

    SackvilleDan Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    840
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sackville
    Nice designs!

    Although, having just finished a course in Intellectual property / trademark and patent law, prior publishing of your "invention" into the public domain before applying for a patent will disallow you from getting a patent. Even though it was your idea, by sharing it with the world on here, it is no longer "new", and you won't get a patent.

    Sorry! You may still be able to get a copyright though. :) Or delete this thread, and pretend it never happened !
     
  12. newtwanger

    newtwanger Blackguardian. Ad Free + Supporter

    Posts:
    3,276
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Too close to these, I think. (but everything is close to something....)

    You might show these to your attourney for his opinion.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. telesavant

    telesavant Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    699
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Litchfield County, Connecticut
    At this point a non-disclosure would be moot, as you have just disclosed them to the world....so a patent on these designs wouldn't be prudent because they are now public domain....unless you have a provisional patent...in which case they would have "patent pending" status and must be labeled as such.
    I've seen headstock designs that were patented, but a trademark is more realistic at this point and many companys have certainly done this with their headstock shapes.
     
  14. reverend

    reverend TDPRI Member

    Age:
    39
    Posts:
    40
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    Finland
    Bottom of the body looks lot like Danelectro Dano Pro guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,423
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Albuquerque, USA
    I think the first step in the process would be to come up with a design that others would want to copy ............. enough said.
     
  16. jay1970

    jay1970 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    275
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Bradford-United Kingdom
    Must admit the headstock looks fantastic, not so keen on the body.
     
  17. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,390
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    so all I have to do is take a Tele and cut a whole in the headstock and I have a new design? Sweet! :lol:
     
  18. slickschoppers

    slickschoppers Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    621
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa
    also

    not to throw more wet blankets on the fire... but ....

    the other issue to understand it patents and trademarks are great... they are very usefull if you have a successful and original idea.

    HUGE "BUT" comming...


    But,, you are REQUIRED to protect your patents and trademarks. if someone copies it, you are required to seek legal action against them and protect it. if you fail to do so, the patent / trademark becomes void.

    for instance, fender has always agressively protected there trademark name, BUT,, they did not defend the body shape design of the stratocaster and telecaster.

    it was decided in court that fender has let it go for so long that they can no longer claim patent rights to the "shape" of the bodies on fender guitars. They just recently got done with a EXPENSIVE and Futile attempt to stop others from copying the basic body shape.....

    so it is not just the INITIAL cost of patent / trademark lawyers that is expensive. the real issue with the continuing cost of hiring a lawyer every time someone tries to copy your design.

    I have to agree with what some others have said above, the headstock and body shapes are not that different from what others have done in the past.

    your lawyer will have to compare your designs against all other designs to see if it is doable...

    EVEN if he successfully gets it registered..... if it is found later that a design close enough to yours was done BEFORE you registered it.. you are out of luck.......

    no offence made but I don't see any major manufacturers scrambling to steal your designs.....

    I think you will find that QUALITY of work, Material, Setup, and support sells more guitars than anything else.

    Take Ron Kirn guitars. you can find other guitars that "look" the same. it is the QUALITY of his guitars that sells them,, not the shape. I have not bought or ever played a Ron Kirn guitar, but I have heard nothing but great things about them...
     
  19. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Posts:
    12,293
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    44°55'09.9"N 79°25'39.1"W
    Admin Post
    I have a couple body designs that I came up with and a couple headstock designs as well. Although they are different they are also still "familiar". I can't see where it would be worth my while to try and protect them. If however I came up with something really cool and unique I would probably look into it, but in all honesty I would never be able to produce enough guitars to make it worth my while.
     
  20. t3l3cast3r

    t3l3cast3r TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    35
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, I wouldn't publish/post my "unique" designs all over the internet for anybody to steal until AFTER I had them trademarked and protected.

    That would be like coming up with a killer bbq sauce and publishing the recipe online. Not wise.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.